Friday, 28 September 2018


Site in construction.

Information provided in this website aims to promote rejuvenation and replanting of senile coconut plantations in the Pacific region using preferably local coconut varieties. It includes mother palm selections; nursery management and support for establishment of pilot nurseries; promotion of farming systems (including agro-forestry) technologies as a means of optimising land use, enhance multi-cropping in contrast to mono-cropping and improving livelihood opportunities for farming households including rural women.

Varieties for replanting
New tool for calculating the number of seednuts needed at national level 
Preparation of the world first regional coconut varietal contest!
COGENT recommendations about planting material
Variety, Cultivar, Population and Accession, what does it mean?
The world catalogue of coconut conserved germplasm
List of germplasm conserved in ex situ coconut genebanks
Tall varieties
Dwarf and Compact Dwarf varieties
Hybrids Dwarf x Tall, Tall x Tall and Dwarf x Dwarf

Selection of mother palms and seednuts

Cut all old coconut palms and replant
Replant only improductive palms
Replant in the interow and cut old palms later
Selling coconut hearts (Chou coco or millionnaire's salad) to largely cover the costs of slaughtering senile coconut palms and replanting young palms.
Farming systems
How to kill old and unproductive coconut palms in an organic way without sawing?

Organic management of coconut plantations
Coconut genebanks for seednut production
General principles for setting up a new coconut genebank
A "golden rule" for coconut genebanks

Overview by countries (proposal)
As debated in the Global Strategy for conservation and use of genetic resources, it seems possible to estimate roughly the number of coconut palms planted yearly at the global level. Coconut is cultivated as a crop on 12 million hectares, totaling approximately 1.44 billion palms, based on the likely average population density of 120 palms/ha. If we assume that coconut palms are replanted on average every 50 years, we can estimate that at least 28.9 million coconut palms (1/50, so 2%) need to be replanted each year simply to maintain a constant cultivated area. In fact the coconut area is presently increasing. Moreover, this first estimation does not take into account that a significant percentage of existing palms are already senile (more than 50 years old) and need to be replaced as soon as possible. Thus, this first estimation will have to be refined at the Pacific regional level, and for each Pacific country involved in CIDP project.

To give an estimate of the number of seednuts needed at the countries level, and provide information on where to find good seednuts.

Production of coconut by ACP Pacific countries as estimated by FAO
and planning by country (the seven countries supposed to be visited are in bold)

 Cook Islands
 Federated States of Micronesia
 Marshall Islands
 Papua New Guinea
 Solomon Islands

Other useful tools
Developing coconut "sanctuaries", coconut eco-museum and spice gardens in the Pacific region.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Internships in Fiji - Where to find

If we want an internship, how to proceed?

There is

A Journalism school at UPS

chool of Language Arts and Media (SLAM)
Faculty of Arts, Law and Education
The University of the South Pacific
Laucala Campus, Suva, Fiji,
Tel: +679 323 2214
Fax: +679 323 1500

Fijian National university

The 2001-2009 mother palm selection programme under CIDA (Coconut Industry Development Authority)

By V. Kumar and R. Bourdeix, December 2017

Under this authority, about 5000 Fijian Tall mother palms were selected in Vanua Levu. Selection criteria and method: One shot visual selection on circular crow shape, number of leaves (at least 30) and bunches (10 to 12), number of nuts per bunches (at least 6), large stem girth; these palms where selected in large farms fields of more than 200 palms. Selected palm were painted with a red or black ring around the stem, that should remain visible until now (2017). Data regarding these palms are the name of farmer, location (village and district), and number of selected palms.
During this period, about ZZZ seednuts were collected from these selected palms, and raised in about ZZZ on-farm and community nurseries. The initial target was to yearly produce about 123,000 seednuts (supposed quantity to plant/replant 890 hectare per year, so 138 seednuts per hectare ???). It is estimated that about ZZZ palms were planted during this period.
Note: try  to add tables and link to official reports.

Friday, 8 December 2017

A partial analysis of past coconut development projects in Fiji

By V. Kumar and R. Bourdeix, December 2017

Taking into account the data we collected, we estimate that no more 40% of the seednuts delivered to farmers in 2014 and 2015 gave living palms in the fields. If similar development plan is launched in 2017, using the same strategy, probably the same maximum rate of 40% will be obtained. 
The highest quantity of seednuts given to a single farmers was 500. None of the recipient farmers were located in the coastal region, the main producing zone. All the farmers who used these seedlings are located inland, in zones mainly devoted to sugar palm and cattle breeding, where only a few coconut palms are grown. These inland farmers, including the one who ordered 500 seednuts, do not sell coconuts and  use them only for home consumption or to feed animals. So this development project had a very small effect on the coconut industry in Fiji.

Visit of Viti Levu in 2017

In Viti Levu, Ms Primila Devi from Macuata Extension office (Email, phone 9974476)  kindly provided us a paper list of the seednuts delivered to farmers during 2014 and 2015. (try to get the excel file).

In total, ZZ farmers received ZZ seednuts from 2014 to 2015. (Vijen to get data from Excel file)

We tried to visit four farmers, but as the first one was absent, we interviewed only three. This should be completed by intervewing more farmers.
The second farmer named Sanju Reddy (geographical localisation to be added) took 300 seednuts, but said that only 100 was planted in his farms, and the remaining seedlings were taken back by extension officers. He estimated that 80 living palms remains, this could be checked by analysing the satellite image of the farm.
The third (Vunimako group farmers, geographical localisation to be added ) received 300 seednuts. they germinated the all on the farm, but only 20 palms were planted in the visited farm, the remaining given to other farmers, and some still remains as overgrown seedlings in the nursery.
The last farmers received 500 seednuts, he planted 200 seedlings, and the rate of mortality was about 5%. So only 38% of the seednuts gave living palms in the field.

Visit of Vanua Levu in 2017

This partial study should be completed by sending an officer (preferably from another region) to other recipient farmers in order to assess the number of seednuts that were effectively planted and the palms that are surviving.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

The simplest way to produce hybrids!

In construction...

Before reading this section, please visit first the section on Understanding coconut reproductive biology.

Many farmers have in their home garden, or in their plantation, at least one or two palms producing orange or yellow fruits. In most of the case, these palms are dwarf types. Harvest the seednuts of these palms, make them germinate and select them on the color of the sprout:

  • In the case of yellow fruited palms: select the seedlings with green or brown colored sprouts. These are hybrids between the yellow palm and unknown fathers (in fact green or brown coconut palms growing around). Remove all the yellow sprouted seedlings, use the fruits for instance for feeding animals.
  • In the case of red fruited palms: select the seedlings with brown colored sprouts. These are hybrids between the yellow palm and unknown fathers (in fact green or brown coconut palms growing around). Remove all the red sprouted seedlings.

Yellow sprout

Red sprout

Green sprout

Brown sprout

These green and brown sprouted seedlings are natural hybrids. In most cases, will produce at least 50% more fruits than the unselected local Talls coconut palms. The proportion of hybrids will generally be low, probably from 5% to 20% of the total seedlings.

There is a way to strongly increase the proportion of hybrids by emasculating during a certain period the inflorescence of the Yellow and Red palms. But in this case, you will have to wait one year for the bunches to mature and for getting your hybrid seednuts! Technique for emasculation, or early removing of the male flowers, will be explained soon.

Expert's view on incentives for boosting coconut plantations

In construction

In the expert opinion, seednuts should not be free. This incentive seems ot really efficient and it it jeopardizes the development of a private market for coconut seednuts and seedlings. In some countries as for instance India, private company such Umapathy farms and Deejay farm. These private companies have many customers and make good profit. There are generally waiting list for seedlings, and often indian farmers have to wait six month to get their seebnuts because of over demand. (need data about price of hybrid seednuts in Indian private companies).

Assesments conducted in Pacific countries

In India, thanks to Dr Augustine Jerard Bosco, incentives are as follow: 50% of the cost of cutting and removal (Rs.500 or 7.8 USD per palm), 25% of the cost of rejuvenation (Rs.15000 or 233 USD per ha over a period of 2 years) and 50% of the cost of replanting  (Rs.20 or 0.31 USD per seedling). And the Indian private seed market is flourishing ...

What should also be free is assistance for installing a leguminous cover crop in coconut plantations. Such cover crop can fix naturally up to 100 kg of nitrogen per hectare.Our feeling is that in the pacific region, farmers are killing themselves to manually weed wild plants that are growing very quickly and invading plantations. This weeding is extremely grueling and discourages many planters who abandon their coconut groves and sometimes do not even harvest the fruits.


Saturday, 2 December 2017

New tool for calculating the number of coconut seednuts needed at the national level

This new tool was conceived by Roland Bourdeix and Vijendra Kumar on December 2017 in Fiji. It help to calculate the number of seednuts needed for reaching an objective of production at national or even regional levels. This is an Excel file that is available on demand. Users have to choose a series of parameter corresponding to the status of coconut plantations in their zones, and according to their objectives in therms of production of fruits. Then graphics and table update automatically.

We provide here under two examples.

In the first one, a country plans to replant yearly 1000 hectares of old senile coconut plantations, and to create 500 hectares of new coconut plantations. The total number of seednuts needed is 330 000. In this case, the number of senile palms decreases from 30 to 18%, but the total number of palms and the yearly production continue to decrease.

In the second example, a country plans to replant yearly 1200 hectares of old senile coconut plantations, and to create 1000 hectares of new coconut plantations. The total number of seednuts needed is 484 000. In this case, the number of senile palms decreases from 30 to 11%, and the total number of palms and the yearly production increases.

Note: do not use this model with very high unrealistic replanting rates, as it is not adapted and some negative values could appear for the number of senile palms.

Example 1

Example 2
Method of calculation